Dallas McPherson has accomplished much in his Minor League career. On Monday night, he did something he hadn't done in nearly five years.
McPherson crushed three homers for the second time in his Minor League career, powering the Albuquerque Isotopes to a 12-6 victory over the Round Rock Express at Isotopes Park.
"I just put some good swings on some good pitches," said the former second-round pick, whose other three-homer game came for Double-A Arkansas on Aug. 11, 2003. "I don't think you can ever feel like you're going to have a game like that, but I've been swinging the bat pretty well of late and fortunately, I had a good night."
McPherson got things started with a solo shot off Express starter Joshua Miller, then connected against Chance Douglass for another solo blast in the fifth and a two-run jack in the seventh that extended the Isotopes' lead to 12-4.
McPherson feasted on a smorgasbord of pitches, going deep on a changeup, a fastball and a cutter.
"I think the first home run I hit off [Douglass] was out over the plate, so I think he tried to get it on me and he threw a cutter and luckily I cut it off," the Citadel product said.
It was the third three-homer game in four days in the Pacific Coast League. Nashville's Russell Branyan performed the feat on Friday against New Orleans and Las Vegas' John Lindsey duplicated it on Saturday at Portland.
McPherson tied the team record for homers in a game while extending his lead atop the PCL.
Monday's performance was even sweeter after a tumultuous 2007. The 27-year-old missed the entire season following surgery to fuse a pair of vertebrae. Last December, he became a free agent after spending his entire career in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim system.
"I think the change has been good for me. It was a chance to have a fresh start where people aren't waiting for me to get hurt. It's worked out well," he said of signing with the Florida Marlins. "I feel good. My back is really holding [up] well and I'm able to play every day. That's the biggest thing -- being able to be on the field every day, pain-free. I think I can play this game at a high level when I'm healthy."
Still, after more 100 Minor League homers and nearly 600 hits, games like this one are special.
"It's great anytime you can have a multiple home run game, it's definitely a memory I can keep," McPherson said. "Especially after being hurt and having surgery, every game is special. Being able to have a big game like this is definitely one I'll look back on later in my life."
McPherson also continues to work toward adding some Major League memories to his impressive collection of Minor League ones.
"My goal is probably the same as everyone else: just do anything I can do, every day, to be better and try to get another shot at the big leagues," he said. "I think that's everyone's goal."
John Gall doubled and knocked in three runs, while Andrew Beattie and pitcher Gaby Hernandez also had two RBIs apiece for the Isotopes (23-20). Hernandez (2-3) allowed two runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts over five innings.
Miller (3-1) suffered his first loss in four starts after surrendering eight runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 frames.
Mark Saccomanno had two hits and two RBIs, while Edwin Maysonet went 2-for-2 with a homer, three walks and two runs scored for the Express (17-26).